Reclining Chairs In Airplanes: A War Nobody Knows About


I was just in the Chicago area. Absolutely gorgeous, this time of year, with the beautiful fall leaves, and it also serves the purpose of explaining my missed post last Friday. BUT however pretty the autumn leaves were/are, they’re not the point.

Refer to the title, if necessary.

No, the real point occurs on the way home, on an airplane…

Reclining chairs in airplanes.

Everybody who’s been on a plane is familiar with them, and frequent travelers will go and get annoyed with them. People blocking your ability to recline or banging on the back of your chair, or the unfolding table in front of you unfolded when the person in front suddenly reclines or snaps straight, spilling whatever complimentary drink you had on it.

Now, none of that’s been a problem to me. The elderly couple in front of me may have had their seats reclined possibly from before the takeoff, but since I’m pretty small, it didn’t really bother me.  It was only how uncomfortable a passenger next to me was, since he was pretty tall, that reminded me of an article I had read once, about a handy little gadget called Knee Defender™…at least, handy for some people.

These “Knee Defenders” so aptly named clip onto the chair in front of you. They prohibit the chair they are attached to from reclining and, as the website says, from bashing into your knees. Nice, right? Only if you’re the user, as I’ve said.

Now, think about that. Imagine that you’re pretty tired: you’ve had a long day of connecting flights, or just woke up too early, or maybe you want to snatch a few hours to cut logs before your meeting. For whatever reason, let’s say you’re tired, so after takeoff and when you’re allowed to you press the little button on your armrest and lean back. Nothing happens. Try again, and the same thing. You can’t rest sitting up! What’s going on?!?

In this particular scenario, you’re the ‘victim’ of someone who’s been using the Knee Defenders™. In my opinion, they’re just a little bit selfish. To forego someone else’s relaxation for your own comfort? Sure, you might have long legs, but can’t you solve it by politely asking the person in front of you to please sit up?

It’s possible to avoid being a ‘blind recliner’, as some people with the Knee Defenders™ might see you as. Just try to get a look (without being nosy, of course) at whoever’s behind you and conclude whether they’d be fine with you reclining or if they look like they’d be uncomfortable.

You can also avoid spilling somebody’s drink if it’s on the unfolding table. Just try to lean back as soon as possible, if you plan on reclining at all, and try to wait until the captain announces landing before lifting your seat again. The middle is where people are most likely to have something on the table, so try to avoid reclining then.

People have gotten to be so rude while travelling that it can hardly be stood. The Knee Defenders™ just add to that. So, if you really would like to get some, try booking an aisle seat instead, and put yourself in the position of the one reclining.

See you next week!




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